UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

04/17/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/16/2024 19:50

The United Nations Youth Forum erupts in applause for the call by a Mixtec youth woman to demand justice to eradicate inequalities

New York, United States, April 16, 2024 - The call to youth by the Mixtec and Mexican young woman, Mitzy Violeta Cortés Guzmán, to demand justice, to recognize and take up actions from the local and indigenous peoples to address global challenges, sparked a thunderous applause on the first day of the 2024 Youth Forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the UN headquarters in New York.

Before she participates in the regional working session for Latin America and Africa, on April 17 at 10:00 am New York time, involving young leaders and government officials, Mitzy requested the floor and mentioned that many of the inequalities and the origins of many of the crises we are currently experiencing are a consequence of colonialism processes and the occupation of indigenous peoples' territories, which have led the richest 1% of the planet to perpetuate multiple inequities, such as pollution and climate change.

It is time for youth to demand justice, justice for our ancestors, justice for our future to end inequalities, and to ask those responsible to take accountability, because alternatives are happening locally. But, some seem to think that autonomy and alternatives created by the First Peoples are not convenient globally.

UNESCO/Aracely Torres

The communicator and activist, nominated by UNESCO in Mexico to the United Nations System in the country for the Youth Forum, called for strengthening community work and indigenous peoples and reiterated: "Let us demand justice as a youth, let us stand up for Mother Earth, for the planet and for the future."

Regional session for Latin America and Africa

Follow Mitzy Violeta Cortés Guzmán's intervention online, this April 17, at 10:00 am (New York time).

Mitzy Cortés is a Mixtec youth activist and communicator who has focused on climate change issues from the perspective of indigenous peoples, women's rights, and indigenous youth. She won the 2022 MTV MIAW Gender Equality Award and the 2022 Global Citizen Award in the Environment category.

The Youth Forum is an ECOSOC platform for youth to contribute to political debates at the UN through their ideas, solutions, and innovations. The regional working sessions will help identify the development needs of youth to advance the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, during the regional sessions, the results of consultations, forums, and other forms of youth participation can be utilized as part of the regional processes for reviewing the SDGs organized by the various regional commissions of the United Nations.